Date of Award

Spring 3-9-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Keith Larick

Second Advisor

Dr. Cindy Petersen

Third Advisor

Dr. Walter Buster


Purpose Statement. The purpose of this historical research study was to document the evolution of the Doctoral Program in Organizational Leadership at Brandman University from concept and design to implementation to present iterations (2013-2017). In addition, it was the purpose of this study to examine changes in vision, structure, curriculum, and the factors that influenced key leaders and decisions from the perspective of Bolman and Deal's 4-frame model, including structural, human resource, political, and symbolic frames.

Methodology. This study is part of a 2-person thematic qualitative historical study on the Brandman doctoral program, with 1 researcher studying program design and implementation with the Alpha cohort in 2012, and this researcher studying the evolution of the program from the Beta cohort of 2013 through the Zeta cohort of 2017. Interviews were conducted with 16 key leaders of the program during the time period being studied. Additionally, relevant documents, artifacts, and relics were reviewed to triangulate interview data.

Findings. Findings of this research study relate to the importance of leaders using a variety of frames through which to view their organization and make strategic leadership decisions regarding systematically pursuing innovation. Additionally, the findings address the importance of aligning hiring practices and program structures to the core values and mission of the organization.

Conclusions. Utilizing Bolman and Deal’s 4-frame model, the Brandman University Doctoral Program in Organizational Leadership was evaluated in terms of its innovative approach to doctoral education. The program’s focus on transformational leadership offered in a practitioner scholar environment exemplified alignment between theory and practice.

Recommendations. Further study is recommended to determine the impact of the Brandman doctoral program. Recommendations include studies focused on the role of the human resources frame in the evolution of the program; impact of student transformational change projects (TCPs); evaluation of quantitative program data; analysis of the perspectives of other members of the Brandman University community; replication of this historical study, focusing on the years following 2017; and examination of the role of the Brandman University Center for Instructional Innovation (CII).